December 2008
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Month December 2008


well, not an official caving outing, but we were in one so that counts, right?! granted i was in new running tights and vest (not the onesie official suits my crazy friend e.bee sports) so i wasn’t eager to slide through the tight spots, but i did get sufficiently muddy and had a ton of fun.

the caves – or really cave, as i believe it was one long one with a few entrances – was on top of montlake, near the town of sewanee. officially, it is called Mr. and Mrs. Harry Lee Carter Natural Area. there was a 2 mile hike to the caves and with the rainy conditions as of late, it was a bit treacherous (and tiresome after racing wauhatchie this morning), with lots of rocks surrounded by clay-like mud. the caves themselves were awesome! i’m not sure i’ve ever really been in one. maybe a small one that you peer into, but this was huge – the entrance (of Peter I believe) was apparently 80ft high and 100ft wide. we climbed down and once over a lip, headlamps were on as it was completely dark. not 1 fleck of natural light anywhere.

middle cave entrance

the creek is right behind me… hard to see though

what’s supercool about this cave is that a river runs right through it! it was flowing fast too – definitely some class 2 stuff inside, and 3+ outside. i did get a bit nervous at times. ever since the race at fall creek falls (and that damn canyoneering section), i don’t trust myself enough on slick rocks and the last thing i wanted to do was have an impromptu swim. we must have been inside 1-1.5 hrs exploring. unfortunately the high water levels forced us to make it a there & back trek. would be cool to go back and hike the whole thing when the creek is lower.

above: the end of today’s trek

the next 3 pics are standing in 1 spot…. creek exiting buggytop,
churning rapids, then the creek raging onward.

72 & (partly) sunny

sunset at lafayette blue springs, florida
our journey begins

over thanksgiving weekend, i joined some friends (well, 1 friend and 3 strangers-aka-soon-to-be-new-friends) on a canoe camping trip way down upon the suwannee river. the next 3 days were spent driving (we started in TN afterall), telling stories, and of course a whole lotta paddling. in all, it was one of the best weekends i can remember having. too much to recap here, so i’ll list just a bunch of memories that may make sense only to me. :)

- stars reflecting on the water
- ninja training
- cherry moonshine
- omg there’s rapids ahead!
- the BEST (insert food here) i’ve EVER had!
- 101 uses for a tortilla
- getting juiced
- random acts of kindness
- brad (heart) 911
- bug + butterflies
- birthday suits vs wetsuits
- stealing trucks & toast
- duckweed
- ambrosia
- kumbuya
- laughing gas
- mitch:1; everyone else: 0

springs we visited:
- Lafayette Blue Springs, our launch
- unknown springs, dinner night #1
- Peacock Springs. great swimming!
- Royal Springs
- Running Springs
- Troy Springs, our take out point. great swimming!
- Ruth Springs, camping night #2

the crew at adams tract river camp: katie, courtney, brad, cathi, mitch

an old swinging railway bridge

my paddling partner

being mermaids at peacock springs

yes we swam in this. duckweed, not icky algae. peacock springs state park

katie at troy springs

mitch getting a ride
old friends & new at “troy springs manor”

more pictures here and here